“Being human means reckoning with a history rich in heroic achievement and moral progress, while at the same time fraught with violence and injustice. Ignoring that reality in favor of mythology is not only wrong but also dangerous, but mythology has a place. The noble chapters of human history have just as much to teach us, if not more, than the shameful ones, and the two are almost always intertwined.”
The injustice and violence and all the bad stuff is the normal baseline. It’s the 90% of the iceberg below the surface. The achievements and heroism are the 10% sticking up in the sun. We don’t talk about the bad stuff much because it’s so damned common. The good stuff is, by definition, extraordinary.
It’s like asking “Why are so many people poor?” because poor is the normal condition. The question that should be asked is “How do we get more people rich?”
As to mythology, I like Terry Pratchett’s take on it. Human beings need to believe in things that are not true. How else can they become?
My point is HUMANITY does sucky things. Americans are not exempt, but we’re treated as though we are supposed to be and failed and should be ashamed of that failure. What we’ve actually done on the side of good is extraordinary. What we’ve done on the side of evil is at worst, ordinary.
Ran across this cartoon, which says in one frame what I and many others have been saying for decades. In fact, let me quote one of those people once again:
Our once unchallenged preeminence in commerce, industry, science, and technological innovation is being overtaken by competitors throughout the world. This report is concerned with only one of the many causes and dimensions of the problem, but it is the one that undergirds American prosperity, security, and civility. We report to the American people that while we can take justifiable pride in what our schools and colleges have historically accomplished and contributed to the United States and the well-being of its people, the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people. What was unimaginable a generation ago has begun to occur–others are matching and surpassing our educational attainments.
If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. – From the introduction to the 1983 report of the National Commission on Excellence in Education entitled A Nation at Risk: the Imperative for Educational Reform.
Almost 40 years ago it was blindingly evident what was happening. Anyway, here’s that cartoon:
There’s a fascinating video available on YouTube (embedded below) of an October, 1972 episode of William F. Buckley’s Firing Line TV show with the title “Hating America.” The guests that day were radical Leftist Dotson Rader (really, look this dude up) and political scientist and anti-Communist Arnold Beichman.
There are a couple of things Rader says during the show that I had to transcribe:
Dotson Rader: “We’re talking about that part of the Left that seeks to break down liberal democracy, and the corporate liberal democracy in the United States, by so dividing the country – that is a proportion of the country… A good portion of the Left’s function is the advancement of despair.”
William F. Buckley: “Yeah, polarization.”
Rader: “Right. And it’s to take a strong enough minority – it doesn’t have to be very large – of the population who are so deeply into despair over the possibility of change within the system that they’re willing to form an organization, a revolutionary underground and use any means necessary to bring it down. The experience of my life in this country, I don’t think or believe anymore that we’re going to bring about massive change in this country through democratic electoral means.”
Now, in 1972 Rader was probably 30 years old. He wanted “massive change” in his lifetime. It’s almost 2022. He’s almost 80. Think he got “massive change”?
But here’s the part that he said out loud that shocked me. Not what he said, but the fact that he blatantly admitted to it:
Rader: “One of the differences between this generation and say, revolutions of the 19th Century is we’re not interested fundamentally in equality. We’re fundamentally interested in justice. Which means we have a greater tolerance for ideas of liquidating a class and so on.”
The Left’s agenda has always been “the advancement of despair” for the purpose of polarization, balkanization to create a disaffected class willing to “bring it (all) down” regardless of the cost, and damn the consequences. It’s explicitly why “critical theory” was created by the Frankfurt School. Modern Progressives deny it, but lying is like breathing to them. The Revolution is all. Utopia will come after all the undesirables are liquidated. Anything is justified to reach that goal.
.Jay Bazzinotti The most important Law is to love God. The 2nd is love thy neighbor as thyself.
You realize, of course, that it is blasphemy to put words in the mouth of God. All you need do is look at his words as they exist today
“When I was hungry, you gave me nothing to eat; when I was thirsty, you gave me nothing to drink. When I was sick or in prison, you did not comfort or visit me; when I was a stranger in your land, you did not welcome me.”
And as a result, he sent the Republicans to Hell to burn in the unquenchable fire. It’s actually pretty clear in Matthew 25. Of course, Republicans will tell you they donate more than anyone else, more to Joel Osteen so he can live in a castle and own multiple private aircraft. But as Jesus said of the poor woman who gave 2 cents to the collection plate: “She’s given more than all of these [Republicans] because she gave all that she had while they gave of their excess.”
The funny thing is, the Republicans KNOW they are doing wrong – they simply don’t care. As long as they get theirs, they do not care who else suffers or how they got it. Abraham Lincoln, a Republican of the past, actually predicted and condemned the Republicans of the present. He said, “The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, ‘You work and toil and earn bread, and I’ll eat it.”
The Republicans are happy to condemn people different from them and to profit from their labor. It’s one of the reasons why the Democratic states have perpetually had to pay for the shortfall in taxes of the welfare-taking Republican states.
I cannot put words in Jesus’ mouth. But I can look at what he said about Republican in the Gospels. And yes, I know I am a sinner but at least I recognize and it try to be a better person. The only thing the Republicans try to improve are their methods for ignoring that their own people like Goslar and Gaetz and Cruz and the others do. They no longer see the difference between moral and immoral, ethical and unethical, right and wrong. There are no limits for them as long as they get what they want no matter who is hurt.
This brings us, once again, to the words of former Leftist David Horowitz, who explains this moral superiority with crystal clarity:
“Progressives are focused on the future, and what’s the chief characteristic of the future? It’s imaginary! The future they are focused on never existed in human history, and as conservatives we understand it can never exist. It’s an impossible dream and a very, very destructive one, as we know from the history of Progressive movements in the 20th Century which killed a hundred million people in peacetime.
“It is, as I’ve said in many places, a crypto-religion. “The world is a Fallen place, and we’re gonna save it.”
“This is what makes them so dangerous. They see themselves as Savior. A decent – I would say “authentic” religion says that the world is a really screwed up place and human beings are incapable of unscrewing it.
“People who believe that Redemption will take place in this life, and they’re going to be part of it, that’s the Hitlers, that’s the Lenins, that’s the Maos. And unfortunately it’s the ideology, moderated of course, but the ideology – moderated for the American framework – of the Democratic Party and the Progressive Left: ‘If we have the power, we can do it.’
“So if you believe that social institutions can change things by getting enough power, then when you look at your opponents, who are the people who are not going along with the program? You see yourself as the army of the Saints. Who are they? They are, YOU are the party of Satan!
“If you want to understand a so-called liberal, just think of a hellfire and damnation preacher and his mentality. That’s what it is. That’s why they’re rude, they’re always interrupting, that’s why it doesn’t bother them in the least that there are no conservatives on their faculty. Because conservatives are evil, they’re spreading ideas that are evil, that are keeping people from enjoying this paradise on Earth that they’re going to bring about.”
We all just received a sermon from Archbishop Bazzenotti.
Let’s see: A gun-grabber nominated to head the BATFE. (Stopped.)
An ecoterrorist confirmed to head the BLM (Bureau of Land Management, not Black Lives Matter.)
An actual Marxist nominated to be Comptroller of the Currency.
Hunter Biden’s laptop scandal now acknowledged, and nothing is done while he sells his “artwork” to wealthy Chinese for exhorbitant sums.
President Biden goes incoherent during addresses, and the media covers for him.
Crowds at sporting events chant “F— Joe Biden” and outside of Social Media, it gets no attention.
The Northern border is closed to Canadian citizens (80+% vaccinated), Border Patrol officers face firing for not getting vaccinated, while literally tens of thousands of illegal aliens stream across the southern border and are relocated by the Federal gov. without so much as a COVID TEST.
A $3.5 trillion “infrastructure” bill that includes language directing banks to report all account transactions over $600, a “pilot program” to start billing cars by the miles driven, and adds 87,000 new IRS agents to enforce these rules.
Honestly, if you wrote a novel with all these plot points no one, NO ONE would believe it.
Not too long ago what I’m about to write here I would have considered a wild conspiracy theory. Now I wonder if I’m paranoid enough.
On the old blog I had a post tag of “Truth in Fiction” where I posted excerpts from books and movies that I thought well reflected current reality. This excerpt from John Ringo’s Road to Damascus, for example:
(The party) is composed of two tiers. The lower tier produces many outspoken members who make their demands known to the upper tier. The lower tier is derived from the inner-city population that serves as the base of the party. The lower tier’s members are generally educated in public school systems and if they aspire to advanced training, they are educated in facilities provided by the state. This wing constitutes the majority of (the party’s) membership, but contributes little or nothing to party theory or platform. It votes the party line and is rewarded with cash payments, subsidized housing, subsidized education, and occasional preferential employment in government positions. The lower tier provides only a handful of clearly token individuals allowed to serve in high offices.
The upper tier, which includes most of the party’s management, virtually all the appointed and elected government officials, and all of the party’s decision-makers, is drawn exclusively from suburban areas where wealth is a fundamental criterion for admittance as a resident. These party members are generally educated at private schools and attend private colleges. They are not affected by food-rationing schemes, income caps or taxation laws, as the legislation drafted and passed by members of their social group inevitably contains loopholes that effectively shelter their income and render them immune from unpleasant statues that restrict the lives of lower-tier party members and all nonparty citizens.
(The party) leadership recognizes that in return for supporting a seemingly populist agenda, they can obtain all the votes they require to remain in power. Even the most cursory analysis of their actions and attitudes, however, indicates that they are not populists but, in fact, are strong antipopulists who actively despise their voting base. This….is proven by their efforts to reduce public educational systems to a level most grade-school children (in other countries) have surpassed, with the excuse that this curriculum is all that the students can handle. They have made the inner-city population base totally dependent on the government, which they control.
A couple of day ago I asked over on Facebook if those in power were interested in significantly reducing world population, what would they be doing differently than they are now? Call it the Thanos Hypothesis.
It didn’t get a lot of traction at the time, but I thought about it off and on afterward, and now it’s brought this überpost about.
I picked the wrong Marvel movie. The right one was Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Bear with me.
Immediately after WWII (hell, probably during WWII) Hydra infiltrates the U.S. government from the bottom all the way to the top. Legislature, courts, executive, and of course, the military. It was probably in other places as well: media, education, etc. Sound familiar?
Hydra followers don’t see themselves as evil. They want what’s best for the world: Peace in our time. Justice. Equality. All it requires is that Hydra be in charge. Because, after all, they’re the best suited to rule. They’re the smartest, they have the best technology. They DESERVE to be in charge. Some are willing to die for the beautiful vision, but a lot more are willing to kill for it.
After all, if they have to kill a few million incalcitrant people to achieve this power, well that’s a small price to pay. Eggs and omelets and all that. You can’t have the deplorable bitter clingers out there mucking everything up with ideas like individual rights and freedoms! No, it will be best when no one (well, none of the peons) owns anything, and everyone will be happy.
Oh, wait… I bled into current reality.
Back before he went full Col. Nicholson, George F. Will gave the keynote speech at the 2010 Milton Friedman prize dinner. It’s an excellent speech I’ve cited numerous times, but not this particular bit:
In 2007 per capita welfare state spending – per capita welfare state spending, adjusted for inflation – was 70% higher than it had been when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated 27 years earlier.
The trend continues and the trend is ominous.
Fifty-one days ago now, the President signed into law the Health Care Reform, the great lunge to complete the New Deal project, and the Great Society project. The great lunge to make us more European. At exactly the moment that this is done the European Ponzi scheme of the social welfare state is being revealed for what it is. There’s a difference. We are not Europeans. We are not, in Orwell’s phrase, a “state‐broken people.” We do not have a feudal background of subservience to the state. No, that is the project of the current administration — it can be boiled down to learned feudalism. It is a dependency agenda that I have been talking about ad nauseam.
Two recent examples. First, when the government took over student loans, making it the case that the two most important financial transactions of the average family — a housing mortgage and a loan for college — will now be transactions with the government, they included a provision that said there will be special forgiveness of student loans for those who go to work for the government or for nonprofits. Second, one-third of the recent stimulus was devoted to preserving unionized public employees’ jobs in states and local municipalities. And so it goes. The agenda is constant.
Yes, the agenda is constant, and learned feudalism is the goal, but this goal long predates the Administration in power back in 2010. Back when I first listened to this speech I thought it was a little dramatic, but no longer. Will details how the agenda is to manufacture a subservient general public – subservient, that is, to our political betters. A little later in the speech he says:
Madison said rights pre-exist government. (Woodrow) Wilson said government exists to dispense whatever agenda of rights suits its fancy, and to annihilate, regulate or attenuate or dilute those others. Madison said the rights we are owed are those that are necessary for the individual pursuit of happiness. Wilson and the progressives said the rights you deserve are those that will deliver material happiness to you and spare you the strain and terror of striving.
The result of this is now clear. We see in the rampant indebtedness of our country and the European countries what someone has called “a gluttonous feast on the flesh of the future.” We see the infantilization of publics that become inert and passive, waiting for the state to take care of them. One statistic: 50% of all Americans 55 years old or older have less than $50,000 in savings and investment.
The feast on the flesh of the future is what debt is. To get a sense of the size of our debt, in 1916, midway in Woodrow Wilson’s first term, the richest man in America John D. Rockefeller could have written a personal check and retired the National Debt. Today the richest man in America, Bill Gates, could write a personal check for all his worth and not pay two months interest on the National Debt. Five years from now interest debt service will consume half of all income taxes. Ten years from now the three main entitlements, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security plus interest will consume 93% of all federal revenues. Twenty years from now debt service interest will be the largest item in the federal budget.
In point of fact, he wasn’t far off. The 2020 budget ran to $6.6 trillion, $4.9 trillion (74.2%) being entitlements and interest on the debt. That was 153% of federal revenues. We brought in $3.2 trillion. We borrowed the other $3.4 trillion. I don’t think George imagined we’d do such a thing. Had we borrowed “only” $984 billion like we did in 2019, we would have been unable to pay entitlements, with nothing left for interest or discretionary spending, like running the government.
Calvin Coolidge, the last president with whom I fully agreed, once said that when you see a problem coming down the road at you, relax. Nine times out of ten it will go into the ditch before it gets to you. He was wrong about the one we now face. We are facing the most predictable financial crisis, most predictable social and political crisis of our time. And all the political class can do is practice what I call “the politics of assuming a ladder.” That’s an old famous story of two people walking down the road, one’s an economist the other’s a normal American, and they fall into a pit with very steep sides. The normal American at the bottom says “Good lord we can’t get out!” The economists said, “Not to worry, we’ll just assume a ladder.”
This seems to me what is the only approach they have to the Ponzi nature of our own welfare state. I think what it is time for us to understand, that the model that we share in a somewhat attenuated form so far with Europe simply cannot work. It is that on the one hand we should tax the rich, AKA the investing and job creating class, yet count on spending the revenues of investment and job creation. No one has explained to the political class that it is very dangerous to try to leap a chasm in two bounds.
We are now being told that a value-added tax is going to be required. Well, the value-added tax would help the political class to shower benefits on those who can vote for them while taxing people who can’t vote for them. The beauty of the value-added tax is that it taxes everybody but nobody quite notices it.
In 2010 the United States was 13.5 trillion dollars in debt. That’s $13,500,000,000,000. At $1,000 per second, it would take almost 428 years to pay back that money.
The debt today is more than $28,800,000,000,000. And the government is desperate for revenue, while it racks up another $3+ trillion in additional deficit spending. It’s unsustainable. Everyone knows its unsustainable. No one will admit there’s a disaster looming, that the Ponzi scheme is on the verge of collapse.
They’ve been in this position before, but they know you can’t keep kicking the can down the road forever. So what do I extrapolate from this? Well, the decent, caring, inclusive, tolerant, loving Left has infiltrated every strata of public life. Media, education, and government are theirs almost wholly. They want what’s best for the world, excluding those who oppose their agenda. They are righteous, morally superior, more intelligent and darn it, just plain good. Those who oppose them are evil, and if they cannot be redeemed, they must be destroyed.
It cannot be incompetence. No individual or group is THAT incompetent. (The Biden Administration has nominated an award winner to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Her award? She won a scholarship named for Vladimir Lenin to Moscow State University. You can’t make this stuff up. No one would believe you.)
The agenda is power – for our own good, of course – and they mean to get it. Economic collapse? They’ve already got theirs! (Well, the ones in actual power. The useful idiots? They can die too. After all, they’re usually the first against the wall after the revolution. Ask Robespierre.) Their money is their self-justification for their right to rule. The peons will have to fend for themselves. Is it any wonder now why Bill Gates has been buying farmland? He’ll need serfs to work it. And if a few million have to die to adjust the thinking of the rest, well, they were evil schemers and wreckers anyway. Their carbon footprint won’t be missed.
Ayn Rand wasn’t a prophet, she was simply a scholar of human nature.
I really wish I was kidding. I wish it was just massive incompetence, but it’s deliberate. Regardless, the outlook is frightening. Really, seriously frightening.
Billy Beck has been talking about the Endarkenment for a long time. Billy is a scholar of human nature, too.
This doesn’t really surprise me. The Left has never shown any ability to predict second- and third-order effects of their policies. This is going to get very, very ugly, and I honestly don’t think it’s going to take more than a few more years, if that.
Apparently there are a lot of people out there who don’t want to take the vaccine. A small but significant number of NBA and NFL players, potentially up to 83,000 health workers in New York, and more elsewhere. Resistance is in the minority, but that minority is pretty serious about it. So here’s my take on the question:
While there’s a chance that COVID-19 could cause you to be hospitalized or even die, the odds are ever in your favor if you don’t happen to be in a high-risk group. I’ve known people who have caught it and died. I know people who caught it and it was a vicious flu-like illness. I know people who caught it and it was like a bad cold.
Natural immunity post COVID is apparently significantly better than any vaccine can produce.
No vaccine is ever risk-free. The negative outcomes are rare, but not non-existent. There have been no long-term trials. (Remember when all the “experts” said it was impossible to get a vaccine out in less that 3-4 years? That’s why.) We really don’t know what happens after a year or ten.
So you have a low, but non-zero chance of having a bad reaction to the vaccine. You have a low, but non-zero chance of getting sick enough from COVID to need to go to the hospital, or even die there. But if you don’t have co-morbidities, that risk is pretty low. You have a low, but non-zero chance of negative long-term effects.
Now, if you DO get sick, you run the risk of passing it on to others. Vaccines don’t work that way. That risk is to you only.
If you do get vaccinated, you can still get sick. Your odds of being hospitalized or dying is decreased, but not eliminated. And while sick you can be infectious. The vaccine doesn’t completely prevent infection, the normal primary case for vaccination.
There are no “solutions,” only trade-offs. If I were young and healthy (like a professional athlete), I would probably not get vaccinated and hope that when (not if) I catch it, it’s no worse than a mild cold and afterward I would have a robust immune response. But I’m not young and healthy, I’m 59, obese, and a dual-organ transplant recipient on immunosuppressives. I got vaccinated.
However, I’m absolutely opposed to vaccine mandates. If my work requires me to show proof of vaccination or get weekly tests, well, they can decide whether or not they want to fire me. I’m pretty certain I can get another job. Not everyone has that option.
As in all things, YMMV, but I fear government overreach more than I fear a virus.